Former President Barack Obama, right, greets Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Steve Helber / AP

We have politicians trying to "get the base all riled up because it provides a short-term tactical advantage," Barack Obama said at a campaign rally for Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for Virginia governor, Thursday night, saying America had to aspire to a better form of politics.

  • "If you had to win a campaign by dividing people, you're not gonna be able to govern them," he added. "You won't be able to unite them later, if that's how you start."
  • "Folks don't feel good right now about what they see. They don't feel as if our public life reflects our best."

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

Hunter Biden saga dominates online debate

Data: NewsWhip; Table: Axios Visuals

The mainstream media turned away. But online, President Trump's charges about Hunter Biden were by far the dominant storyline about the final presidential debate, according to exclusive NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

  • Coverage of business dealings by Joe Biden's son — and pre-debate allegations by one of his former business associates, Tony Bobulinski — garnered more than twice as much online activity (likes, comments, shares) as the runner-up.

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